Fake Fiancée is a new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills!
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From WSJ Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new stand-alone contemporary romance.
Fake engaged to the hottest quarterback in the country? SCORE.
They say nothing compares to your first kiss,
But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.
Our second kiss . . . that one was REAL.
He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.
He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.
Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,
He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,
And he’d never get another piece.
A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist . . .
And I was lost.
I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.
I forgot we weren’t REAL.
Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist,
Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.
Three months. Two hearts. One fake engagement.
One reason I adore Ilsa Madden-Mills’ stories is because she writes her main characters in such a way that exposes EVERYTHING about them. Readers are privy to their internal musings as well as the reasons behind their outward actions, and even though readers may shake their hands at their choices, we can’t deny that each action makes sense due to how developed the characters are.
Max Kent has a clear vision for his future, and even though there’s been a few bumps in the road due to family and girl issues, he’s remained focused on the sport that will make his life complete – at least according to Max. Football means everything to him, and it’s essential that he keeps his head in the game, not allowing anything else to break his concentration or bother him as he works to win games for his team and the Heisman for himself.
AND…if Max is going to get through his final season as quarterback for Leland University, he definitely doesn’t need any drama when it comes to groupies and ex-girlfriends, so his plan to “fake” a relationship with his neighbor, Sunny Blaine, seems to be in his best interest…too bad the connection between them is anything but fake and the more time they spend together, the messier things get as fiction becomes reality and emotions/actions are driven by true feelings instead of fabricated ones.
Sunny Blaine is quite the prickly spitfire when she and Max meet, and while she has every right to be snippy with the alpha male as their story continues, her hard rule of no longer dating athletes becomes a thing of the past as she finds herself the “fake” girlfriend of the big man on campus and as he works to keep his focus on football, she works to keep her real feelings for her “fake” boyfriend in check because nothing good can come from falling for a guy who sees a sport rather than a person as his everything.
Fake Fiancee is another great story by Ilsa Madden-Mills. The way that Max and Sunny’s relationship evolved isn’t forced or fabricated, which allows readers to garner hope as the fictitious couple realizes their feelings for one another are genuine and deep, and while the obstacles in the way of something real between them seem too complex to endure, the connection between Max and Sunny is more powerful than they realize, especially when major truths about their bond still need to be revealed.
There were parts of the storyline, especially the ones focused on the forces against the couple, that I felt needed deeper investigation for everything to be clear in terms of their respective back stories, but those unknown details didn’t take away from my enjoyment of Max and Sunny’s story…it just left me with a few questions that weren’t really answered.
Max and Sunny’s story illustrates just how difficult it is to fake a relationship that actually means more than either person wants to admit, and because of this, decisions are made that actually do more harm than good when it comes to building a fictitious relationship when true feelings are guiding the way.
Everything happens for a reason, which is clearly shown through Max and Sunny’s relationship because their pasts, presents, and futures are more entwined than they’re able to voice, which definitely complicates things between them but also gives them insight into why anything fake between them will always be real.
4.5 Poison Apples
Max stalked over to the barrier that divided the stands from the football field and jumped it. The fans went nuts as he brushed past them, some not even realizing it until he was down the aisle. The Jumbotron followed him.
“Good Lordy, what’s he doing?” Mimi asked, clutching at her chest.
“I don’t know,” I said rather weakly, taking the chance to study him the closer he came. He was beautiful, his shoulders impossibly broad. To add to the distraction, his helmet was in his hand and all that dark brown hair was flowing around his chiseled features as if he had a fan in his face. My Viking.
“He’s coming over here,” Mimi commented.
He was. But why?
I stopped breathing . . .right when he came to a halt in front of me and knelt down on one knee.
Eyes the color of a wild ocean gazed at me.
He took my left hand in his right one.
“Max,” I breathed, my heart fluttering.
He gazed up at me. “Sunny Blaine, will you marry me?”
The stadium went wild. In a daze, I looked up at the Jumbotron and felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Camera phones flashed all around us.
My first clear thought was I’ll kill him.
Aloud, nothing came out but a faint wheeze. Clearly someone had stuffed a giant wad of cotton in my mouth. Clearly I needed something a lot stiffer to drink than this Diet Coke. Clearly my fake boyfriend was a freaking raving lunatic.
He sat his helmet on the ground next to my feet, reached inside it and pulled out a small black box.
No, no, no!
The box opened, and my stomach churned at the sight of the large round solitaire diamond ring that was nestled on the black silk. I blinked repeatedly to clear my vision.
With deft fingers, Max eased it out of the lining and slipped it on my left hand.
I stared down at it. Then back at him.
I was going to murder the hottest quarterback in the country.
Kiss her, Kiss her, the crowd chanted.
We were the focal point of the entire world.
Max stood and tugged me up with him until we were standing. He slid his hand around my neck and pulled his face to mine. The sky was blotted out as he kissed me.
But I hadn’t said yes!
I wouldn’t say yes.
Not to a fake engagement.
The applause of the stadium was deafening. And his kiss—it was deadly. Despite my rage, my body craved him. His lips were hot, so hot, and my tongue met his with a vengeance. We kissed hard, and I nipped at him, my teeth scraping across his lips. But the only one who’d end up bleeding in this scenario was me.
He eased back to take me in, and with a final look at my face he gave a thumbs-up sign to the entire stadium. They went nuts, chanting his name.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered in my ear, letting his hand trail down my arm as he stepped back from me. He walked away backward, eyes on me the entire time. The announcers for the game told everyone who might have missed it that Max Kent had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she’d said yes. More cheers came as they replayed him on his knee in front of me with a giant YES written across the top.
I plopped back down in my seat. Frozen.
“. . . did you see her face? Shocked . . .”
“. . . most romantic thing in football . . .”
“. . . luckiest girl in the world . . .”
My face went hot. Even my ears burned. I wanted to crawl under a seat.
What a lie.
The half ended and our offense came out to the field, snapped the ball, and Max threw it straight to Tate who ran it in for another touchdown. My chest constricted and anger churned in my gut.
I didn’t care who won.
I hated football right now.
Most of all, I hated Max Kent, and I was going to make him pay.
About the Author
Wall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.
She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education. When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.
She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.